5am, Saturday, May 1st. The grey mist on the horizon begins to fade and evaporate into the chilly, early Spring morning. The sun begins its climb on its way up into the sleepy upstate New York suburb. Miles sits calmly examining the tools: gas masks, balaclavas, backpacks, knee pads, running shoes, hooded sweatshirt, thick gloves, vinegar, backup battery, camera, microphone, bullhorn, running cash, baseball cap, flak jacket, backup phone, maps, keys.
Miles’ phone vibrates. He checks the SMS:
JACK: we set? leavin in 10.
MILES: yeah, good – pick me up here. got the masks
JACK: AM shift change will catch em off guard
MILES: that’s the plan.
JACK: Leave your ID
Jack pulls up in his 2006 Toyota Tercel and gives a short honk. Miles launches his pack on his back, gives one last look over the Correctional Officer schedule, stuffs it into his back pocket and slams the door behind him.
“You got enough gas?” Miles asks.
“Yeah, plenty. But with this shitbox, you never know,” Jack says.
Miles pulls out the map as Jack puts the Tercel in reverse.
“OK, pull out of the neighborhood then head toward 87—“
Sirens scream and blare, cutting through the sleepy early dawn. Six State Trooper cruisers blast up nearly onto Jack’s bumper. Fifteen Troopers jump out, shotguns drawn –
“OUT OF THE CAR, NOW!”
“ON YOUR KNEES”
“LOSE THE BACKPACK, SHITBIRD!”
Miles winces as three knees are plowed into his back and neck. He briefly glimpses Jack’s face as the Troopers nearly break his arm, manhandling his limbs like putty, before applying the steel bracelets. Jack’s face is covered in gravel as the Trooper lifts his boot off of his neck. Stumbling and yelping, Miles and Jack are led to separate cruisers.
The sun is just creeping over the McMansion homes, drying the dew-swept lawns, as the caravan of cruisers scream away from the door-ajar Tercel.
INTERIOR: Interrogation Room #1, Police Station, Upstate New York
DETECTIVE #1: Mr. Miles Matthews. Why no ID?
MILES: To prevent you from getting that info.
DETECTIVE #1: Hah – looks like that was unsuccessful.
MILES: Where is Jack?
DETECTIVE #1: Shut up and listen carefully. You’re in a world of hurt. We know you’re in control of your people. They’re organizing now at the prison. We have men there scoping them in their cars, in the woods, with their bullshit ski masks and false courage.
MILES: It’s far from false.
DETECTIVE #1: I don’t care. Here’s the deal. We have your SMS history. We have your private chats with the other regional leaders. We know your schedule better than you do. And I’ve got news for you – you will never assist the Correctional Officer Union. They can bitch and moan all they want, but they’ll have to do it without your interference.
MILES: What’s the charge?
DETECTIVE #1: I told you to shut the fuck up.
MILES: OK, lawyer time.
DETECTIVE #1: No, here’s what time it is: it’s time for you to cease and desist, permanently.
MILES: Oh, yeah? How do you figure?
DETECTIVE #1: Because if you don’t here’s what tomorrow’s headline will read: ALCOHOLIC, PORN-ADDICTED FATHER ARRESTED FOR INCITEMENT
DETECTIVE #1: Yeah, that’s what I thought.
MILES: So it’s confess or be smeared.
DETECTIVE #1: Haha. The new protocols come in handy. We’ve got your entire digital life – and as you well know, we do not hesitate to use it.
DETECTIVE #1 hands Miles a pen and a statement.
MILES: Just remember those protocols go both ways, Detective.
DETECTIVE #1: I’m clean, kid.
MILES (signing): … No one is clean.